I breezed through the first four episodes of Extraordinary You and I love this drama so much! It’s really going to hurt to wait for new episodes, but luckily I’ve got a busy couple months ahead which will hopefully help.
There are so many things to adore about this drama. Here is a list:
It is unique. Even though it’s about a girl who finds out she is actually a comic book character, which is similar to W (k-drama) and Unexpected (c-drama), the plot line and camera angles are very different then any drama I have watched.
The plot is very interesting. See summary below. The way it’s executed is fantastic and there is something for everyone since it’s part fantasy, mystery, school plot and romance with some humor thrown in.
The main character Eun Dan Oh played by Kim Hye Yoon is hilariously adorable. She is a tad bit whiny but I forgive her because she makes the unbelievable believable.
I have zero idea what’s going to happen next from episode to episode, so it leaves me hanging, but excited to see what comes next.
What would you do if you found out that you were, in fact, a character in a comic? And an extra character on top of that? Change the course of the story, obviously! Eun Dan Oh is a 17-year-old high-school student from a wealthy family who suffers from a lifelong heart condition that inevitably means she will not live past her teenage years. However, when Dan Oh realizes she is experiencing long gaps in her memory as well, she comes into the unhappy inheritance of another fact in her life: she is a character in a Korean webtoon and all of her actions are predetermined by the artist who draws her. To make matters worse, she discovers she is only a supporting character in the cast. With her newfound understanding of the world she inhabits, she is determined to find true love in her own plot-line and circumvent the author’s plans for her character by utilizing the flashes of storyboard she alone is able to see. (Source: onehallyu)
Who knew that an addiction to K-Drama’s would not just mean a steady viewing schedule but would mean other changes would happen at home too.
1)My kid went to school with sageuk hair lol We are currently watching Don Yi (circa 2010) and she loved the little girls hair so much that she is now sporting an identical hairstyle (though not as perfectly done), which actually looks really pretty on her.
2) I’m Rachel and I’m a kimchi-a-holic. I’ve always loved Korean food (#Bibimbap4forlife) and liked kimchi, but watching everyone eat it in k-dramas made me crave it. And the more I ate it the more I wanted it. Now it’s a fridge staple that I don’t think I could live without. Luckily for me, we have a large Korean population where I live so finding it isn’t too hard and I can pick and choose whose I like the most. My favorite meal with it is rice drizzled in sweet soy sauce and a fried egg.
3) K-Dramas are solely responsible for my unhealthy eating habits. This is because my fried chicken and beer intake have increased exponentially. Watching everyone in K-Drama’s eating fried chicken and drinking what looks like ice cold beer always makes my mouth water. Next thing I know I’ve decided that’s what we’re having for dinner.
4) Sometimes I walk around with random Korean words and phrases in my head, and more often then not, I have no idea what they translate to in English lol
I have no idea how to rate this series because there are things I love about it, things I kind of hate and even some things I love and hate. I’m halfway through and can’t decide whether or not I want to go on.
WHAT I LOVE
The acting is great. Especially Li Xian because he seems to have immersed himself in the character completely. And it looks like Yang Zi is following the character as it was written in the script to a T. I say that without having seen the script, but it sure seems that way.
I like that there is a plot line with a unique theme. It’s about competitive hackers and refreshingly, they actually show some competitive hacking, unlike those business dramas where you never see the business or anyone actually working.
The characters are also all fairly likable, and multi-dimensional. And for once, no one is all bad. I also like that the show looks at past experiences and how they develop people into who they are and how they handle things.
WHAT I LOVE AND HATE
Full disclosure. I ship Li Xian or his character for myself. He is exactly the intense, muscular stocky guy with amazing bone structure that I love to look at. Half of me thinks this show is great because I get to look at him to my hearts content. Half of me hates this show because it reminds me that my glory days (twenties) are over, so I have zero chance of having a Lu Xian/Gun of my own, which is a little heartbreaking to think about.
WHAT I HATE
I can completely understand why the lead female, Tong Nian, falls in lust with “Gun” because… see above, but I just can’t seem to get past the way she handles it or the fact that she thinks she’s in love with someone she’s never had a conversation with.
I have an eight year old girl who I’m trying to raise to be smart, self-reliant, confident, and thoughtful and I would never want her to act like this girl. What makes it worse is that I ‘m assuming she gets the guy in the end after acting like that, which is a terrible message to girls everywhere. Bad role modelling is the worst. I wont give away the plot, but I will say she is very close to being a cyber stalker/real stalker. If she was an older guy acting this way with a younger female, instead of a cute girl, her antics wouldn’t be cute, they’d be grounds for a restraining order.
There’s also one scene where “Gun” criticizes Tong Nian’s outfit and she responds that she will wear whatever he wants next time she sees him. It’s one thing to want to please a guy, and dress in something he likes, but that seemed like a step too far. It reminded me of the girl in the movie Coming to America that the Prince was arranged to marry who answered “whatever you like” to every question he asked about her preferences.
I do like that the female character is academic and talented and has her own career, but the chances that she would give all that up to be with him seems way too high. This basically leaves me with the hee bee jeebies so it’s been hard for me to cheer on their love story.
I also hate Yang Zi/Tong Nian’s hair. So much. I know bobs and straight bangs are a trend in China, but American me just cannot get on board with them. Her clothes were a mess too. She’s basically dressed like a kindergartner on every episode that I watched, so between that and her hair she looked like a twelve year old, making their supposed age difference just a little bit creepy. I am blaming her stylist completely because Lu Xian/Gun’s outfits were all that and a bag of chips, almost as good as the leads from Full House (Thai version) who I think has had the best fashion of any male character in a drama series.
I really like the opening song for the series.
I don’t know if it’s age or maintenance or what, but actor Hu Yi Tian seems to get more attractive every show he does. There is a marked difference from Rush to Dead Summer to now. Also, this must have been his easiest role yet since he was paid, at least up to episode 12, which is where I left off, to say ten lines and make a few faces.
My theory, which I will expand on in a later blog is that most guys level of attractiveness correlates with their haircuts, which is proven in Go Go Squid, since Li Xian is cute no matter what, but looks way better once he ditches the younger him flash back hair.
I’ve had Le Coup de Foudre on my list for awhile now, but with 35 episodes I put it off until recently. OMG is it good! It’s about two high school desk mates and their feelings for each other in school and as adults, and the friends who surround them. It is very mellow so even the dramatic scenes didn’t stress me out. Some viewers may not like this type of pacing, but since I watch to get away from the stresses and chaos of real life, I really enjoyed it.
The characters are well developed. I didn’t hate any of them and my favorite at the end was not someone I would have thought would be my favorite when I started the show. They grew on me over the course of it (#FeiDaChuanforlife). The leads Janice Wu/Wu Qian, who I last saw in My Amazing Boyfriend and Zhang Yu Jian were both great. My only critique of the female lead,character is that she played with her hair a lot, and her choices didn’t make sense. And I have nothing bad to say about Wu in this role. And Zhang played the cold stoic type better than any other actor I’ve seen so far. Both of them also had to perform a range of ages, since the plots follows their high school and adulthood years and they were impeccable.
The other actors were also fantastic. My appreciation for Actor An Ge who plays Fei Da Chuan is mostly because his expressions are on par with Aaron Yan and the best Korean drama actors. You can tell what he is trying to convey without him saying a word, which I think is the height of talent. Plus the character is kind of adorable in his kind, but cluelessness.
The story was really sweet, and took real life considerations into account, which I really appreciated. It even focused on some situations that people face in the real world like abuse, injury, unexpected pregnancy, terminal illness and bankruptcy, but in a way that was interesting, not depressing to watch. I think the male lead, albeit cold, was the most loving character I’ve watched in a long time. I like that there was a good sismance. And I LOVE that the love triangle didn’t leave me feeling heartbroken for the second lead the way a lot of them do.
There were also a lot of funny moments. The times when the leads were feeling jealous of someone else were usually scripted as comedy. And the second to last episode had me laughing out loud through the whole thing which helped end the show on a really high note. The ending was also nice and happy and didn’t leave me hanging the way a lot of c-dramas do.
My one critique is I have zero idea what the female lead was thinking for part of the show. Some of her choices did not make sense to me, and I wonder if scenes got cut that would have explained it or if the directors and everyone else involved just failed to see that this part of the plot was really unclear.
Kudos to the stylists who worked on this show. While not all the clothes characters wore were fashionable, I can only assume it was out of extreme thoughtfulness by the stylists. The lead female wore plain Jane clothes until the last few scenes. Her best friend was a bit hipster boho. Her brother was clean cut and even her parents dressed like parents. The lead male was really clean cut and simply dressed while his closest relative wore clashing clothes with a lot of gaudy patterned shirts, which is what, if his character were real, he’d probably wear. And a second lead female who was meant to be a heiress was extremely fashionable. I want almost all of her outfits to be in my closet, even though she is the size of a blade of grass so I strongly doubt they would fit me. And their is a running joke about a mink coat and how ugly it was that I really appreciated. My only criticism is that some of the pants people wore were ill fitting and ugly, which is a trend I see in a lot of c-dramas and would likely see on the streets of China, although I hope not. If so, China, please put the mom jeans and bell bottoms away. Please! For your own good.
I am really sad that this show is over because I enjoyed it so much. Lucky for me, it’s based on a book titled I Don’t Like the World, I only Like You, and some angel has translated it into English. Yay for that : ) Here is the link for it: https://www.novelupdates.com/nauthor/qiao-yi/
I think you can officially say I’ve seen a lot of Asian dramas. One of the reasons is that I think that the acting still plays as sincere in a lot of them the way most recent mainstream U.S. dramas don’t. These are the actresses that I love to watch, mostly for that reason and/or because they are funny.
Park Bo Young (Korea)
I love her acting because it’s versatile. She can play characters who are serious, sweet, funny or over the top, and make them all so easy to root for.
My favorite dramas with her are Oh My Ghostess and Strong Girl Bong-soon. The first is crazy, mysterious, sweet and funny. The other one is too, but add more action and comedy. In Oh My Ghostess her character is meek and reserved, while she is the opposite in Strong Girl Bong-soon. I also love Wolfboy, which I am embarrassed to admit made me cry. She played the character so well, I forgot she was acting and that science created bionic wolf males weren’t a real thing lol.
2. Shen Yue (China)
There is no way I couldn’t adore her as an actress because her characters stole my heart. She was adorable in A Love So Beautiful. I basically wanted her character to get whatever she wanted by the end of the first episode. And all her antics made me laugh. Then in Meteor Garden she played a character that had been done before, but managed to make it something really special. I like her even when I was annoyed with her for pretending not to here a guy tell her he liked her multiple times. And I think the scene when she was crying in the fountain is one of the most heartbreaking drama scenes of all time, which is 100% thanks to her acting.
3. Eleanor Lee* (China) (via Singapore)
If you’ve ever read my blog before you probably know that I LOVE ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ the show The Big Boss. It’s exactly the quirky, situational comedy type show I love (think Arrested Development, but high schoolers in China) with leads that have the most watchable, lovable love/hate relationship. Eleanor Lee plays the lead girl Ye Mu Xi and she is hilarious. She also does sad scenes so well that my heart hurt a little when her character was sad. See her character in action at minute 8 of this video.
My kid and I are excited to watch My Poseidon and Fake Princess even though we know they may not be nearly as good as The Big Boss because we love Lee that much.
She also did a lot of The Big Boss OST because she is an AMAZING singer. Here is one of her songs, which I highly recommend listening to because her voice is sooo pretty.
*She is the daughter of famed actress Quan Yifeng
4.Puff Kuo/Guo (Taiwan)
If there is an actress I think I’d like in real life it’s Puff Kuo. She seems to be nice and fun. I’ve mentioned a few (dozen) times on this blog that I love the drama Just You with Kuo and Aaron Yan. It’s a romantic comedy that, minus some unnecessary love triangle cray was basically made for me because I am completely entertained when I watch it. Kuo is so great in it. She’s cute and really funny. I wont give away the story, but there is a kidnapping plot that I laughed the whole way through because it was pure comedy. She’s currently starring in a completely different kind of show about love and infidelity called Before We Get Married, which despite my hatred of the plot is getting rave reviews, probably because she’s so good in it.
5. Vivian Sung (Taiwan) (China)
Sung makes every character her own and always makes me laugh. The 2015 movie Our Times, which she starred in has already become a cult classic. She plays a nerd who falls for the bad boy by accident and acts it out perfectly. My favorite role with her is in Proud of Love where she has a body switch with a guy in her college so she plays a guy in a woman’s body. She does the best job! Not only is she hilarious, she did perfect guy mannerisms, from her expressions to her posture. I also loved her in Cafe.Waiting.Love which is very, very kooky, but also very charming thanks to her and Bruce Hung.
6. Arimura Kasumi (Japan)
Kasumi has been acting for years and has so much talent. She earned my appreciation, (and most of Japan’s) for her acting in Flying Colors, which is about a girl who becomes studious after years of inattention to academics. Then she bowled me over in Chugakusei Nikki where she plays a teacher in love with her under aged student. There were moments when I really didn’t like her character, which is down to her great acting, since I’m sure I wasn’t meant to.
7. Kim Seul Gi (Korea)
The roles she gets or picks always seem to be charming, funny and a little self deprecating, and she does a great job with them. I LOVE her in Queen of the Ring and Oh My Ghostess and The Light in Your Eyes. She has managed to make me sincerely like all of her characters from a eunuch to a ghost to a student to a manager who never gets any sleep because she is always extremely entertaining. She is also good at looking sad in a way that makes me sad i.e. a truly good actress.